::Phenomenology (psychology)


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Phenomenology is the study of subjective experience.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> It is an approach to psychological subject matter that has its roots in the philosophical work of Edmund Husserl.<ref name="Giorgi1">Giorgi, Amedeo. (1970). Psychology as a Human Science. New York : Harper & Row.</ref> Early phenomenologists such as Husserl, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty conducted philosophical investigations of consciousness in the early 20th century. Their critiques of psychologism and positivism later influenced at least two main fields of contemporary psychology: the phenomenological psychological approach of the Duquesne School (The Descriptive Phenomenological Method in Psychology), including Amedeo Giorgi<ref name="Giorgi1"/><ref name="Giorgi2">Giorgi, Amedeo. (2009). The Descriptive Phenomenological Method in Psychology. Duquesne University Press: Pittsburgh, PA.</ref> and Frederick Wertz; and the experimental approaches associated with Francisco Varela, Shaun Gallagher, Evan Thompson, and others (embodied mind thesis). Other names associated with the movement include Jonathan Smith (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis), Steinar Kvale, and Wolfgang Köhler. Phenomenological psychologists have also figured prominently in the history of the humanistic psychology movement.

The experiencing subject can be considered to be the person or self, for purposes of convenience. In phenomenological philosophy (and in particular in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty), "experience" is a considerably more complex concept than it is usually taken to be in everyday use. Instead, experience (or being, or existence itself) is an "in-relation-to" phenomenon, and it is defined by qualities of directedness, embodiment, and worldliness, which are evoked by the term "Being-in-the-World".<ref name="Langdridge, D. 2006">Langdridge, D. (2006). Phenomenological psychology: theory, research and method. Harlow: Pearson.</ref>

The quality or nature of a given experience is often referred to by the term qualia, whose archetypical exemplar is "redness". For example, we might ask, "Is my experience of redness the same as yours?" While it is difficult to answer such a question in any concrete way, the concept of intersubjectivity is often used as a mechanism for understanding how it is that humans are able to empathise with one another's experiences, and indeed to engage in meaningful communication about them. The phenomenological formulation of Being-in-the-World, where person and world are mutually constitutive, is central here.

Phenomenology (psychology) sections
Intro  Difficulties in considering subjective phenomena  Psychotherapy and the phenomenology of emotion   See also   References  

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